Dubai: All licensed venues have been instructed to refrain from hosting live entertainment and from serving alcohol on the occasion of Arafat Day.
A circular issued by the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DCTM) on August 4 announced that all hotels and restaurants across the emirate should have a dry night from Friday August 9 at 6.30pm to Saturday August 10 at 7.30pm.
The decision will be implemented ahead of Arafat Day, which falls this year on August 10. Eid Al Adha will be celebrated one day later, on August 11.
Last week, authorities in Saudi Arabia confirmed the moon sighting on Thursday night to mark the start of the Dhu Al Hijja month – the final month of the Islamic calendar. The ninth day of Dhu Al Hijjah corresponds to Arafat Day while Eid takes place on the 10th day.
Residents will be able to enjoy a long weekend as the UAE will celebrate a four-day holiday from August 10 to 13, and resume work on Wednesday August 14.
The decision comes in line with the resolution issued by the UAE Cabinet earlier this year to grant the private sector the same number of holidays as the public sector.
Arafat Day is the holiest day of the year for Muslims.
On the Day of Arafat, hundreds of thousands of pilgrims will throng Makkah on the second day of the pilgrimage to ascend Mount Arafat, marking the peak point of the five-day Hajj ritual.
On this big Hajj day, pilgrims converge from dawn on the Mount Arafat plain and the hill known as Jabal Al Rahma, or Mount of Mercy, dedicated to prayers and reflection.